It could seem like a decade, although Realme’s initial product, the Realme 1, was released about 3.5 years ago. The business has since extended its product line by introducing fitness trackers, smartwatches, wireless earbuds, and Bluetooth devices. We have the Realme Book (Slim) up for review today.
Outside of India, the Realme Book (Slim) is Realme’s first laptop and the first from the BBK Electronics company. The Realme Book (Slim) is aimed towards the new generation, mainly the working class and students, who want a productive and attractive laptop. Realme provides the Book (Thin) in a fantastic blue colour option with a slim, lightweight design and enticing features to cater to that audience. Is it a worthwhile purchase and persuade customers to buy a first-generation product?
The laptop and the charging accessories, and the usual papers are included in the retail package. The package is tiny and straightforward, with a design that is evocative of Apple‘s MacBook packaging.
Design and Body of Realme Book (Slim)
The Realme Book (Slim) has a length of 307.21mm, a width of 228.96mm, and a thickness of 15.5mm (14.9mm at the thinnest point). It weighs 1.38 kg, making it light and very portable.
Except for the plastic bezels surrounding the monitor, the whole laptop is painted the same colour – blue or grey, depending on the model you choose. The Realme Book (Slim) is stylish, and the Real Blue model we got is appealing. Natural grey is the other colour choice, appealing to those who want something more professional, better suited for work situations, business meetings, and presentations.
The Realme Book (Slim) has a clean, pattern-free lid with the Realme trademark on the left side. Suppose you wish to cover the branding or have a different design on the top. In that case, you can get skins from Capes India, who collaborated with Realme to develop a creative Realme-themed skin, but there are also other possibilities. Another reason to use leather on the lid is that it is susceptible to scratches and collects fingerprints.
The product branding, a couple of HARMAN speakers with DTS Stereo Surround Sound compatibility, and air vents for cooling can all be found on the laptop’s opposite side, the bottom. The Dual-fan Storm Cooling System, which uses 8mm diameter dual heat pipes and a wing-shaped design to optimize the notebook’s cooling capacity, is behind them.
The Realme Book (Slim) has rubber cushions on the bottom to offer grip, and it was astonishing to notice that the larger one, above the vents, has the inscription “Dare To Leap” on it. Unlike its smartphones, where the firm has experimented with different sizes and positions and garnered backlash for it, Realme chose to put its tagline where it will rarely be observed.
One Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 and one USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 are located on the left side of the Realme Book (Slim) for charging and data transmission.
Keep in mind that we’re talking about the Core i5 model. The i3 variant does not have a Thunderbolt 4 connector, instead opting for two USB-C 3.2 Gen ports. The charging indication is situated between the two ports, and the former has a lightning bolt logo on its left side for identification.
A USB-A 3.1 Gen 1 connector and a 3.5mm headphone and microphone jack are located on the right side of the Realme Book (Slim). For others, the lack of port options, such as HDMI and Ethernet connectors, maybe a hindrance.
The lack of at least one additional USB-A port is disturbing because many people usually use the laptop with a mouse, which means the USB-A port is always filled with its connector. If you need to transmit data through USB-A, remove the cord and navigate using the trackpad, which isn’t ideal.
The Realme Book (Slim) is simple to open with one hand, but not wholly, since doing so pushes up the base, forcing you to grasp the palm rest to open the lid entirely. Still, the hinge stability, which keeps the screen from swaying, is satisfactory.
When the lid is opened, we’ll see a 14-inch IPS display with a 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio, tiny bezels, a web camera above the top bezel, and the Realme branding under the bottom bezel.
A backlit keyboard and trackpad are also included, although we may find information on them in their section.
The power button includes a fingerprint scanner built in the upper-right corner. It’s quick, accurate, and if you click the power button with the registered finger, it logs you into the system immediately after loading up.
Realme says that the laptop is constructed such that heat is channelled towards the area above the keyboard, keeping the palm rest area cold and providing a comfortable typing experience. The space around the keyboard has a matte-ish feel, similar to the notebook’s lid. Realme did a fantastic job at it since the region above the keyboard grows hot to the touch when charging or conducting resource-intensive tasks, but the area where your palms rest stays cooler. It does become warm, but not as much as the other side of the keyboard.
The Realme Book (Slim) comprises aluminium alloy and features CNC cutting, sandblasting, and anodizing techniques. It’s simple, solid, and well-made. However, the bottom panel is frequently squeezed when holding the laptop, which isn’t exactly reassuring. Despite its resemblance to Apple’s MacBook, the Realme Book (Slimoverall)’s appearance and build quality are rather impressive.
Webcam, speakers, and display
One of the Realme Book (Slim) is its 14-inch IPS LCD with 2,160×1,440 pixels. The display boasts a 60Hz refresh rate, 100% sRGB coverage, a 1500:1 contrast ratio, and a 170° viewing angle, which is adequate.
With small bezels on the top (8.45mm) and sides (90 per cent screen-to-body ratio), the display features a 3:2 aspect ratio and a 90 per cent screen-to-body ratio (5.3mm). This combination provides a more immersive visual experience and more screen real estate in a more diminutive form than traditional 16:9 aspect ratio panels, allowing you to see more information on the screen while working with documents or surfing the web.
The 3:2 aspect ratio, on the other hand, results in black bars sandwiching films. And if you don’t, the panel’s overall quality should compensate. According to Realme, the laptop’s screen has an average brightness of 330 and a peak brightness of 400. The display hit 200 nits at 50 per cent brightness in our tests, but 390 nits at 100 per cent. Mind you, that’s still a lot of light. The panel is glossy, giving it a more colourful appearance and reflective than flat, non-reflective panels.
The Realme Book (Slim) comes with a pair of solid and accurate HARMAN speakers with DTS Stereo Surround Sound compatibility. The laptop also comes with a pair of microphones that employ Elevoc’s Vocplus AI Noise Cancellation Algorithm, Vocplus Pre-processing Technology, and Vocplus Scream Suppression Technology. It also eliminates background noise, reduces screams and improves speech so that people on the other end can hear you well.
The Realme Book (Slimbuilt-in )’s web camera can record 720p 30FPS films in a 16:9 aspect ratio and take photographs with a 1,280×720-pixel resolution in the same aspect ratio.
The Realme Book (SlimHD )’s camera is adequate for occasional video chats, but you may wish to invest in a dedicated web camera for professional use.
Touchpad and Keyboard
The Realme Book (Slim) lacks the full-fledged keyboard seen on larger computers, which means it lacks a Numpad and the Home, End, Page Up, and Page Down buttons. The function keys serve as shortcut buttons, and the direction keys are also compact. While the latter isn’t a problem in and of itself, the problem is that the user cannot change the action of the function keys. For example, hitting the F5 key will reduce the screen brightness rather than refreshing the system or web page.
To utilize Windows shortcuts, such as Fn+Alt+F4 to shut a window instead of simply Alt+F4 and Fn+F5 to refresh the system instead of just F5, you must always hit the “Fn” key between the Ctrl and Windows keys. It may not be a significant deal for those who have used comparable keyboards before, but some might find it annoying because the added hand acrobatics slow down the process.
Realme is the only brand that doesn’t let you change the function keys’ behaviour through the BIOS or other software on the laptop. On the other side, Realme has recognized the issue and stated that it is working on a solution.
A lack of Page Up and Home keys hinders my workflow because those buttons allow me to navigate to the top of a web page, document, or sentence start. In contrast, without them, one has to rely on the mouse/trackpad and move the scroll wheel/fingers multiple times to get to the top.
It detracts from the experience and explains why it took me a few days to get used to the keyboard. Of course, I’ve been using 15.6″ laptops with full-sized keyboards for years, so if you’re used to keyboards on 14″ and smaller laptops, you shouldn’t have any problems.
The keys, admittedly, have a good trip and provide helpful feedback. The keyboard was a joy to type on, and the backlit keys with three brightness settings let you type in low light or utter darkness.
The PTP multi-touch trackpad is likewise significant, smooth, and sensitive, making navigating a breeze. The split keys aren’t available here, but tapping the left and right sections in the trackpad’s bottom half allows you to do left and right clicks, respectively. Since the Realme Book (Slim) comes with Windows Precision Touch, you may touch with two fingers to replicate a right-click in addition to employing other motions.
Performance and Hardware
In India, the Realme Book (Slim) comes with two memory options: 8GB RAM and 256GB storage and 8GB RAM and 512GB storage. The former is equipped with an 11th Gen Core i3-1115G4 dual-core CPU and Intel’s UHD graphics, while the latter is fitted with an 11th Gen Core i5-1135G7 quad-core processor with Intel’s Iris Xe Graphics. There isn’t a dedicated GPU onboard in either of these.
Realme does not sell the Core i3 model in China, but it does offer an i5 model with 16GB RAM. Realme had intended to introduce the 16GB RAM variant in India, but the firm ultimately opted against it, and there’s no sign that it would do so.
Realme’s i3 and i5 versions employ separate RAM and storage components. The RAM on the i3 model is 3,733 MHz, while the RAM on the i5 is 4,266 MHz. However, both are dual-channel LPDDR4X.
SanDisk produces the SSD on the i3, whereas Samsung makes the one on the i5. In case you’re wondering, the SSD on the Samsung i5 laptop is faster. Sequential read and write rates up to 3,100 Mbps and 1,800 Mbps, respectively, are claimed. On the other hand, SanDisk’s SSD claims sequential read and write speeds of up to 2,400 Mbps and 950 Mbps, respectively.
The distinctions between the i3 and i5 processors don’t stop there. Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2, and a Thunderbolt 4 connection replace the i3’s USB-C 3.2 Gen 2 port on the latter.
Let’s speak about the notebook’s real-world performance now that the synthetic testing is over. We utilized the Realme Book (Slim) for office work, which consisted of working in Google Chrome with at least 10-15 tabs open in several windows at any given time, basic picture editing, and watching YouTube videos.
The Realme Book (Slim) operated admirably in such circumstances, with no hitches and no exceptionally high temperatures.
Because the Realme Book (Slim) lacks a dedicated GPU, it’s recommended to temper your expectations regarding advanced photo/video editing and gaming. Basic editing and casual gaming should suffice, but don’t expect anything spectacular.
The Realme Book (Slim) comes preloaded with Windows 10 Home Edition and is available for a free upgrade to Windows 11. The laptop also includes a licenced version of Microsoft Office 2019 Home and Student Edition and the regular collection of pre-installed apps on other laptops with the Windows operating system. A few third-party programmes like DTS, Elevoc, and Realtek are also included.
The Realme Book (Slim) also has PC Connect, first presented with the Realme GT Master Edition at its August debut in India.
You can drag-and-drop files between your smartphone and computer using PC Connect, and you can access files stored on your phone using tools installed on your laptop. You may also use the Realme Book (Slim) to examine your smartphone’s messages and alerts, as well as copy-paste text from one device to another using the clipboard sharing function.
However, the PC Connect function is only accessible on a few Realme smartphones at the moment, including the GT Master Edition and GT Neo2.
On the Realme Book (Slim), the overall software experience is similar to what you’d get with a freshly loaded copy of Windows 10 on a PC with respectable specs. It’s relatively tidy and devoid of clutter.
The Realme Book (Slim) is said to play 11 hours of 1080p video locally at 150-nit screen brightness with 50 per cent volume and no Wi-Fi connection. The business also claims 8.5 hours of autonomy in a simulated workplace setting, according to the Simulated Office Usage Test from Mobile Mark 2018.
The Realme Book (Slim) performed better than claimed in my tests, playing a 1080p film locally for over 11 hours with 150-nit brightness, 50% loudness, and no Wi-Fi connection.
However, in my routine, the Realme Book (Slim) lasted an average of 5 hours and 40 minutes on a single charge. We utilized the laptop for office work, which includes document editing, basic photo editing, and working inside Google Chrome with an average of at least 10-15 tabs active in several windows at all times. We set the keyboard lighting to maximum brightness, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections were constantly on, set screen brightness to 10%, full display resolution (1,440p), and set the power mode to Best performance.
The battery went from 3% to 45 per cent in 30 minutes and 100% in 1 hour and 40 minutes with the laptop turned on. Depending on the jobs you’re doing, your mileage may vary here as well. For the office tasks described above, because the computer shuts down if the battery level drops below 3%, it wasn’t easy to evaluate the time necessary for a complete charge while it was in use.
It’s also worth noting that the 65W adapter is compatible with Realme’s 30W Dart Charge technology, which allows you to charge compatible devices at up to 30W speed, eliminating the need to carry extra chargers for your Realme (and Oppo and OnePlus) smartphones.
It would have been excellent and easy if the converter could support 65W speeds on Realme smartphones, but this isn’t feasible. Because the Realme laptop’s adapter works on a high-voltage/low-current system (e.g., 20V/3.25A), whereas Super Dart Charge works on a lower-voltage/higher-current system (10V/6.5A), the Realme laptop’s adapter can only handle up to 30W on smartphones, according to Realme.
However, because USB-C powers the Realme Book (Slim), you may also charge it using a compatible power bank.
Even though this was Realme’s first time in this area, it created a solid product.
The Book (Slim) offers several advantages, including a premium design, a stunning 1440p screen with a 3:2 aspect ratio, and a high-quality trackpad and keyboard. Although, if you’re used to full-sized keyboards, the latter may take some getting used to.
As long as you aren’t planning to play demanding games or do extensive photo/video editing, the laptop’s performance shouldn’t be an issue.
Furthermore, the Realme Book (Slimfingerprint )’s scanner is quick and precise, and the 65W charging lets you swiftly recharge the battery while on the go. However, the battery life should have been better.
I’d also want to see the Book (Slim) come with additional I/O ports, and Realme could’ve sold the 16GB RAM edition outside of China, as the RAM isn’t user-upgradable and therefore doesn’t make the purchase future-proof.
The same can be said regarding storage, particularly on the Core i3 model, which only comes with a 256GB option. On the plus side, the hold on both the i3 and i5 variants is user-expandable, meaning you can add a larger capacity SSD if you need more storage.
Most of the problems with the Book (Slim) were software-related, so if you don’t mind the restricted port and RAM/storage options, the Realme Book (Slim) is an excellent investment. Especially for professionals and students who spend their days exploring the internet and editing documents in office suites.
The Realme Book (Slim) Core i3 model (8GB/256GB) was introduced in India for INR46,999, while the i5 variant (8GB/512GB) was offered for INR59,999. However, the former is presently available on Realme’s official website for INR44,999 and the latter for INR56,999.
It would have a great to purchase the Realme Book (Slim) right away if it hadn’t been for the device’s restricted USB ports and RAM/storage options, which proved to be a deal-breaker. Realme is expected to release the Book (Slim) with additional RAM/storage in China shortly and new notebooks with more I/O ports.
Realme’s debut into the laptop industry is exciting. If the upstart company succeeds in the same way it did with smartphones, anticipate a lot of competition in the laptop market, which will mean more alternatives to pick from across various price brackets, eventually benefiting users.
- Compact and lightweight
- The design is minimal, quality, and metallic.
- It’s a well-made structure. 2K display with a backlit keyboard and a good trackpad Performance
- The fingerprint scanner is quick and accurate
- Rapid recharging
- Insufficient ports
- Outside of China, there is only an 8GB RAM option, and the RAM is not upgradeable.
- On the Core i3 model, there is just a 256GB storage option.
- We cannot change the behaviour of function keys.
- The Core i5 version has more functionality.
- They may have improved the battery life.
Article Proofread and Edited by Shreedatri Banerjee